Wednesday March 27, 2019

Whole Lotta Love: Audiences growing at Triple M Classic Rock

• Adam Williscroft on curating the best of the 60 & 70s for new audiences

By James Manning

On April Fool’s Day, Triple M’s Classic Rock Digital station, along with Greatest Hits, will be available to listeners in Hobart. April 1 has seen a couple of station launches – Nova 969 Sydney launched on April 1 and the Brisbane Nova station was launched in April when it fired up, but a couple of days past April 1.

This will be the sixth market for the SCA Classic Rock brand after launching in each mainland metro capital.

In additional to DAB+ receivers, listeners to great music can also access it via various radio apps, smart speakers and online.

See also:

SCA’s #1 digital radio station Triple M Classic Rock coming to Hobart

In survey 1, 2019, GfK ranked Triple M Classic Rock as the #1 digital radio station in Australia.

In addition to the GfK ratings, SCA has access to live stats regarding the delivery of the digital signal to users. “There has been strong growth of 30% for digital radio listening in the past 12 months,” Adam Williscroft (pictured) told Mediaweek. As content director Triple M digital radio, the long-time radio professional – announcer turned content executive and station manager – understands the power of this brand under SCA’s new digital radio strategy.

We combine the unduplicated Triple M audience to give advertisers greater reach. That has added about 8.5% to SCA’s total audience share.

The Triple M digital brands now take the same add load as the Triple M broadcast FM stations, reaching an extra 238,000 listeners as of last survey.

“There is potential for more growth as there is greater awareness of the brand,” he added.

Triple M Classic Rock original launched in 2013, before Williscroft was involved. It was later shut down in September 2016. “A victim of its own success,” was a quote from then SCA chief creative officer Guy Dobson back then.

The station was reactivated on July 1, 2017.

See also:

Shot through the heart! Triple M closes Classic Rock Digital

Prior to Triple M, Nova Entertainment (then DMG) flirted with the format in the 2000s on the frequency that launched Vega and now carries the ultra-successful smoothfm.

Williscroft was at Nova at the time in Sydney and remembers it well. Looking after the brand though was former DMG programmer Dan Bradley who is about the re-join the Triple M family after a tour of the radio dial. Without wishing to tread on Bradley’s toes, when asked if that incarnation was ahead of its time, Williscroft replied,” Probably.”

The Triple M Classic Digital suite of channels has grown to include Classic Rock alongside Greatest Hits, Triple M Aussie and Triple M Country. Again, Triple M commercial partners also get the audiences from these brands when they buy an add on a Triple M FM station.

Listening to the station for any amount of time you get the feeling there is a fair bit of curation, there’s not just a Classic Rock AI robot spitting out the rock tracks.

“It is all curated,” laughed Williscroft, denying any intelligent robot involvement with an automated playlist!

“All songs have to be chosen and put in order. There is plenty of technology involved in playing the songs, but the playlist is curated with hand-selected songs. Classic Rock is very active bringing the genre to life. Every day at 9am we relive the classic moments in rock with Dave Williams, which pays tributes to birthdays, anniversaries and deaths and other moments of significance. That is of course very much hand selected.

The people doing the curation certainly know their music. It is easy to come across a song, or an indeed an artist, that was long forgotten about.

“We play albums in full at midday as part of the Essential Vinyl brand, which is always tied to an anniversary moment.”

Williscroft admitted to being a vinyl “nut” and he brings in albums from his collection to be recorded into the Triple M library. On the day we spoke, the station had just played the first Aerosmith album in full to celebrate singer Steven Tyler’s birthday.

For people not listening to Smallzy or Steve Price elsewhere in evenings, you could do worse than listen to Classic Rock’s Alice Cooper daily evening show.

The Classic Rock audience is quite broad – the average age of our listener is 42, but 13% of them are 10-17. There is a new generation discovering these classic tunes for the first time.

“The era that gave us The Beatles catalogue, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix haven’t been replicated and you can’t substitute them. They are raw, real and authentic and Classic Rock’s success is built around reframing that music for today’s audience.”

Classic Rock favourites

One of the artists you’ll here most on the station is Led Zeppelin. Williscroft said he thought every single Led Zeppelin track recorded – around 200 – is on the playlist. (That is 108 songs plus live versions and demos etc.)

There are 291 Beatles’ songs and 224 Rolling Stones’ tunes.

“We don’t play all of them all the time of course. Triple M has the largest record library at our disposal and the late 60s and 70s were such a prolific time. There is so much to choose from. And that is just the major artists before we start discovering other important acts.

“There is a wealth of fantastic music out there and it is my job to present the best of it.”

Williscroft noted that streaming doesn’t seem to be eating into radio audiences, but is being used to complement it.

Led Zeppelin’s The Immigrant Song has charted recently after being used in a Game Of Thrones trailer.

Tours of classic bands sparks lots of listener interest too and Classic Rock recently played an Eagles’ live show and will be doing the same when Kiss visit Australia.

SCA’s Austereo heritage gives it access to well preserved rich archives of old interviews and features which Williscroft has repurposed for Classic Rock.

Williscroft isn’t about to let anything onto the playlist. Apart from live performances, there’s not much on the station after 1990. “The span of classic rock for the purists is the 60s and 70s. The early 80s also has some worthy tunes. Once you start getting into the 90s I find it hard to call it classic rock.”

He does make an exception for artists like Nirvana and Pearl Jam.

For people wanting more contemporary rock should try Triple M Great Hists or the Triple M FM stations, which also spin quite a few classic tracks these days too.

Donovan family tradition continues as Jemma heads to Ramsay Street

Network 10 and Fremantle have revealed that a third generation of the Donovan family is heading to the 10Peach drama Neighbours:

First there was Jason Donovan, who we swooned over as the popular, handsome and suave Scott Robinson.

Then there was Terence Donovan, who we loved as the easy going, relaxed family man, Doug Willis.

Now, the Donovan family tradition continues when Jemma Donovan, daughter of Neighbours royalty, Jason Donovan and granddaughter of Ramsay Street patriarch Terence Donovan, heads to Erinsborough to play the quick witted and complicated Harlow Robinson.

Not one to shy away from the big screen with her natural ability and passion for the industry, Jemma starred alongside Hugh Bonneville in the BBC One film Mr. Stink at the age of 11, and appeared in the 10-part Netflix series Spotless in 2015.

Jemma will join the cast to play Harlow Robinson, a whip smart, diplomatic, complex young lady with a curious mind.

And as we know, the surname Robinson is synonymous with drama, so we can promise that when Harlow lands in Ramsay Street, drama will ensue as her complicated family history starts unravelling before her eyes.

On the casting of his daughter, Jason Donovan, said: “Neighbours is an incredible learning curve for any young actor. It’s become an institution and I’m so grateful for my time on Ramsay Street.

“There are so many great memories for me looking back, and to be honest this is Jemma’s moment. My dad had a wonderful few years and I’m sure Jemma will also embrace the experience and honour the past.

“She needs to look forward, be an open book, learn from her experiences and have some fun. What an opportunity!” he added.

Jemma Donovan said: “I am so happy and very honoured to be a part of a series which has been enjoyed by generations.

“I really like my character Harlow. She is very head strong, and I enjoy playing that type of character who knows what she is doing and likes to get involved and Harlow seems to have those qualities,” she said.

Neighbours executive producer Jason Herbison said: “Jemma did a fantastic audition for Neighbours and her pedigree was an unexpected surprise. Jason and Terence are Ramsay Street royalty and it warms all our hearts to know there will be a third generation Donovan on the show. I’m excited to see Jemma carry the torch and make the character of Harlow her own.”

Jemma Donovan will appear on Neighbours from July 2019.

See also: Mediaweek podcast

Neighbours and Australian drama with Sara Richardson and Andrew Mercado

If you have dismissed Neighbours as a show that is not worthy of your time, it might be time to reconsider your viewing habits. According to one of the most passionate and knowledgeable fans of Australian drama (Andrew Mercado), the past few weeks have been amongst the best in Neighbours’ last 35 years. Mercado celebrates the soap with Network 10 Neighbours’ executive producer Sara Richardson. The two of them have a good old time and Sara even has some insights into how she broke into the TV industry. She also reveals some of the classic factual and drama series she worked on before 10 at Playmaker and Essential Media.

Listen here.

Nova 100 breakfast celebrates Melb Int Comedy Festival partnership

The annual Melbourne International Comedy Festival edition of Nova 100’s breakfast show took place in the Melbourne Town Hall this morning.

Nova 100 has been a Comedy Festival partner for 13 years.

Chrissie, Sam and Browny with Deano

Joining Nova breakfast hosts Chrissie, Sam and Browny – plus Deano – were 11 of the best comedians performing at the 2019 edition of the Festival.

They included Sam Pang’s drinking buddy Judith Lucy plus Nath Valvo, Nazeem Hussain, Urzila Carlson, Joel Creasey, John Earl, Dilruk Jayasinha and Ben Knight.

Chrissie, and Browny with Nazeem Hussain

Nova 100 and ahm health insurance will present the Hits & Giggles comedy gala event, hosted by Nick Cody, featuring some of Australia’s freshest new comic talent on Saturday April 7.

Chrissie, and Browny with Nath Valvo

Guests can only win tickets to this exclusive event by heading to or listening to Nova 100.

Top Photo: Chrissie, and Browny with Urzila Carlson

Amy Shark and Paul Kelly among contenders for Song of the Year

• Songwriters celebrated – all nominees of APRA Music Awards revealed

APRA AMCOS has announced the nominees for the 2019 APRA Music Awards, the annual event that celebrates excellence in contemporary music and honours songwriters and music publishers that have achieved outstanding success in their fields.

In a category that is 100% determined by APRA songwriter and publisher members, the final five contenders for the prestigious Peer-Voted APRA Song of the Year can now be revealed.

Joel Ma (Joelistics) and first-time nominees Mojo Juju and Rita Seumanutafa are nominated for Native Tongue, performed by Mojo Juju. Another songwriter receiving her first nomination is Angie McMahon, who secured peer support for her song Slow Mover. McMahon just took out the prestigious SXSW Grulke Prize for developing artists at the annual US music conference.

Receiving back-to-back nods in the Song of the Year category is Ainslie Wills, who with co-writers Bram Inscore and MoZella, has been nominated for Society, a track written at SongHubs The Tower in 2017. Last year’s Song of the Year recipient and songwriting luminary Paul Kelly is nominated for With the One I Love, the first single from his recent LP, Nature.

Appearing for the third consecutive year in the Song of the Year category is Amy Shark, this time with I Said Hi, a punchy, melodic anthem, which was the lead track from Shark’s debut chart-topping album Love Monster.

Leading all contenders is last year’s Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year, Sarah Aarons, with four nominations. Aarons continues to consolidate her reputation as a global hit-maker, thanks to high-profile collaborations with Peking Duk, The Rubens and co-writing credits on the Zedd worldwide smash Stay, and the Grammy-nominated The Middle. Amy Shark and 2019 Young Australian of the Year Danzal Baker, professionally known as Baker Boy, have three nominations a-piece.

Danzal Baker (Baker Boy)

Featuring a dynamic group of emerging songwriters that are having huge success both here and abroad are the five nominees for the Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year. They are hip-hop standout Danzal Baker (Baker Boy), global sensation Dean Lewis, multi-talented drummer-singer-songwriter Georgia Flipo (G Flip), Holly Rankin, who writes and performs as the psych-pop solo artist Jack River, and Tash Sultana, an explosive live artist who has commanded global attention and continues to sell out major arenas around the world. The winner will be determined by the APRA board of directors.

Jack River

Dual APRA Music Awards nominees for 2019 include PNAU, Vance Joy, Sheppard, Tash Sultana, Morgan Evans, Jack Ladder, Angie McMahon, and five-piece alternative rock band The Rubens, who are nominated twice in the Rock Work of the Year category.

Other nominees include 2019 triple j Hottest 100 winners Ocean Alley, Hilltop Hoods, Bliss n Eso, Thundamentals, Sia, Peking Duk, Kasey Chambers, Angus & Julia Stone, Tori Forsyth, Jon Hume, Kim Churchill, Gang of Youths, The Wolfe Brothers and more.

Two more awards, decided by the APRA board of directors, will be announced at the ceremony – Songwriter of the Year and the Overseas Recognition Award. The Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music, Most Played Australian Work Overseas and Licensee of the Year will also be presented at the 2019 APRA Music Awards on Tuesday 30 April at Melbourne Town Hall.

Returning to host the APRA Music Awards is acclaimed Melbourne writer, performer, comedian, producer and broadcaster Brian Nankervis. Among his many credits, Nankervis was a regular on Hey Hey It’s Saturday as the tortured street poet Raymond J Bartholomeuz. He was the co-creator beloved SBS music trivia show, RocKwiz and appeared on the program alongside host Julia Zemiro for 12 years. He can be heard on ABC Radio’s The Friday Revue, which sees him and co-host Richelle Hunt put an entertaining spin on the stories that have shaped the week.

See a full list of the nominees here.

Social media users turning away from avalanche of branded content

New research commissioned by BBC StoryWorks, the branded content production arm for BBC Global News, reveals that when it comes to the amount of advertising, sponsored and paid for posts that are seen across social media feeds, only 2% of Australians believe there isn’t too much branded content appearing on these platforms.

The data also reveals that more than a third of Australians (35%) have turned off social media as a result.

Turning away from social media isn’t the only impact that excessive amounts of branded content is having on the ecosystem, with 46% of respondents stating that these days they are more inclined to catch up on news updates purely via news sites/apps.

Jamie Chambers, ANZ regional director of BBC Global News, said: “Social media is a key distribution channel for brands who are producing their own content. Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of organisations creating branded content, people’s social feeds are constantly flooded and this is turning people off. This research highlights this trend and is a true reflection of just how many people are being irritated by this. It’s a vicious cycle, because the further people tune out, the more difficult generating cut through becomes, and this is something that the sector needs to understand and be sensitive to.”

Jelena Li, head of BBC StoryWorks Australia & New Zealand, added: “In today’s market, many brands have recognised the importance of producing high quality and engaging content, but simply creating great content – which many organisations are very good at – isn’t enough anymore. This research demonstrates that the environment in which content is distributed and published is key and has a direct impact on how audiences engage with branded content. Sadly, this is often an afterthought. Brands must start to recognize the landscape they are in, listen to their consumers’ media behaviours and adjust their distribution and partnership strategies accordingly. Trusted and relevant partners can play a crucial role in delivering content in premium environments which cut through the social feed noise and provide a better platform for a conversation between a brand and their target audience.”

*Research was conducted and analysed by The Digital Edge Research Company. The data is based on analysis of over 1,000 Australians responses in January 2019. The ages used for this study were 18 – 70+ years old and consisted of a mix of both male and female respondents from across the country.

Top Photo: Jelena Li

TV Ratings Analysis: March 26

• Trip to the Holy Land sets new Travel Guides benchmark
• Fasten your airline seatbelts for more primetime travel formats
• MAFS: more about Jess & Dan, but how good are Heidi & Mike
• My Kitchen Rules back above 800,000: spag & meatballs at SCG

Tuesday: Week 13 2019

 By James Manning

• Seven News 944,000/943,000
• Nine News 834,000/893,000
• A Current Affair 814,000
• ABC News 722,000
• 7.30 665,000
• The Project 274,000/437,000
• 10 News First 352,000
• SBS World News 117,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 286,000
• Today 186,000


Home And Away climbed a little to 638,000 after 629,000 on Monday.

My Kitchen Rules didn’t feature an elimination again, but the audience climbed back above 800,000 as the teams cooked at the SCG, a fire station and at a construction site. A week ago the show did 746,000.

The second episode of the Martin Clunes’ UK drama Manhunt then did 539,000 after launching with 593,000. That first episode had an extra audience of 169,000 in the seven days since broadcast taking the metro audience total to 761,000.


A Current Affair traded at 814,000 after opening the week on 828,000 on Monday.

Married At First Sight gave viewers a glimpse of Jess and Dan waking up in each other’s arms. But for sheer awkwardness its hard to go past some of the great moments captured between Heidi and Mike as they took to the Harbour on a tall ship. The Tuesday episode did 1.225m after 1.305m last week.

The evening highlight for many viewers though was possibly the best episode ever of Travel Guides (although we still think highly of the India trip this season). The tourists made a pilgrimage to the Hold Land as they visited the hot spots in Israel. The great camera work and the comical situations made it all look very good, but they were hard markers with no adventurers scoring the experience higher than four out of five. The audience of 915,000 was the best ever for the show across three seasons. If other networks haven’t been developing primetime travel formats already they should probably start. Other shows of course won’t be able to have a MAFS lead-in. And finding other presenters this good will be challenging too, but not impossible.


Felicity Ward was the comedian of the day on The Project, with 437,000 a drop from Monday’s 574,000. The show played an extended clip from Monday’s Q&A with everybody’s new favourite TV panellist Teena McQueen. “That’s reality TV for me,” said guest Fifi Box.

Ambulance Australia then did 413,000 after 405,000 a week ago.

NCIS then did 285,000.


The Al Jazeera One Nation doco How To Sell A Massacre had 595,000 watching after 8pm. The second part screens on Thursday night.

The Cult Of The Family then did 379,000.


Michael Portillo was travelling between Vienna and Trieste last night on Great Continental Train Journeys with 180,000 watching.

Bullying was the subject on an episode of Insight that did 133,000.

Week 13 TV:Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.0% 7 21.3% 9 25.9% 10  10.2% SBS One 3.9%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.6% 7TWO 2.1% GO! 3.8% 10 Bold 2.9% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 2.6% GEM 2.8% 10 Peach 1.5% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix 1.3% 9Life 1.7%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 0.6%            
TOTAL 17.1%   27.9%   34.3%   14.6%   6.1%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.9% 7 21.5% 9 18.6% WIN 10.3% SBS One 3.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.3% 7TWO 3.9% GO! 4.7% WIN Bold 2.5% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 4.3% GEM 4.4% WIN Peach 1.6% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 1.5% 9Life 2.0% Sky News  on WIN 1.5% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 17.4%   31.2%   29.7%   15.9%   5.8%


87.6% 12.4%
  1. Married At First Sight Nine 1,225,000
  2. Seven News Seven 944,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 943,000
  4. Travel Guides Nine 915,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 893,000
  6. Nine News Nine 834,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 814,000
  8. My Kitchen Rules Seven 806,000
  9. ABC News ABC 722,000
  10. 7.30 ABC 665,000
  11. Home And Away Seven 638,000
  12. How To Sell A Massacre ABC 595,000
  13. Manhunt Seven 539,000
  14. The Chase Australia Seven 530,000
  15. Hot Seat Nine 447,000
  16. The Project 7pm 10 437,000
  17. Ambulance Australia 10 413,000
  18. True Story With Hamish & Andy – (R) -Ep1 Nine 381,000
  19. The Cult Of The Family ABC 379,000
  20. 10 News First 10 352,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 338,000
  2. Travel Guides Nine 253,000
  3. My Kitchen Rules Seven 161,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 126,000
  5. Ambulance Australia 10 125,000



  1. Married At First Sight Nine 575,000
  2. Travel Guides Nine 459,000
  3. My Kitchen Rules Seven 292,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 238,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 231,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 643,000
  2. Travel Guides Nine 528,000
  3. My Kitchen Rules Seven 344,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 300,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 286,000
TUESDAY Multichannel
  1. Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  2. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000
  3. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  4. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  5. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  6. Wanda And The Alien PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  7. Death In Paradise 9Gem 137,000
  8. PJ Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  9. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  10. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  11. Kazoops! PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  12. Bondi Rescue Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 130,000
  13. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  14. The Big Bang Theory – (R) 9GO! 124,000
  15. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 123,000
  16. Young Sheldon Tx2 – (R) 9GO! 122,000
  17. Bob The Builder PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  18. Young Sheldon – (R) 9GO! 121,000
  19. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  20. Hey Duggee AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  1. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 60,000
  2. Jones & Co Sky News Live 58,000
  3. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 53,000
  4. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 52,000
  5. Family Guy FOX8 47,000
  6. Credlin Sky News Live 43,000
  7. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 42,000
  8. The Simpsons FOX8 40,000
  9. PML Later Sky News Live 40,000
  10. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 39,000
  11. Live: The Back Page FOX SPORTS 503 37,000
  12. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 36,000
  13. The Big Bang Theory COMEDY CHANNEL 35,000
  14. American Dad! FOX8 34,000
  15. Family Guy FOX8 32,000
  16. The Big Bang Theory COMEDY CHANNEL 31,000
  17. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 31,000
  18. Open Mike FOX FOOTY 31,000
  19. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 31,000
  20. The Simpsons FOX8 30,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

James Warburton all geared up for consulting and motorsports gigs

Five months after leaving APN Outdoor, media executive James Warburton has set up his own consultancy, working with private equity firms CVC Limited and Alceon Group, and will join the board of Australian Racing Group (ARG), reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Warburton left APN Outdoor in last October following its $1.2 billion acquisition by French out-of-home advertising giant JCDecaux.

“I have always been drawn to work that is transformative and, in many cases, requires a turnaround with a focus on sales and marketing,” Warburton said.

“It is a new phase of my career and I look forward to working with my new business partners on compelling investment opportunities.”

ARG – a motorsports events business set up by former Wilson Security chief executive John McMellan and property developer Brian Boyd – operates Touring Car Racing in Australia and New Zealand, a race series to debut in this country in May. It will also bring back the Formula 5000 single-seat racing category this year.

[Read the original]

News Brands

The Australian welcomes readers to major website makeover

After releasing a test version of its website for a limited number of subscribers, The Australian has now moved all visitors over to its updated and redesigned website.

The News Corp Australia newsbrand has offered readers this introduction from digital editor Daniel Sankey and general manager digital Stuart Fagg:

The changes have been carefully designed to simplify the experience and make it easier to find the features you love, from our award-winning news coverage to your favourite columnists.

Importantly, our new website brings our printed newspaper and our digital content closer together than at any time since The Australian launched its first website back in 1997.

To that end, our website sections now match the newspaper’s sections and liftouts and you will find the newspaper’s distinctive typography across the website. We’ve also increased the width of the website on large screens, giving a real broadsheet feel to the new pages.

As The Australian has developed in the digital age, so too has our journalism and our new website is designed to place that coverage at the centre of your experience.

Whether it be live coverage of breaking news, political analysis that holds the nation’s leaders to account, a gripping podcast or a long read from The Weekend Australian Magazine, our new website brings our content to life on whichever device you choose to use.

Making changes to The Australian is not a task we have taken lightly.

For many of you it’s a part of your daily routine and the trusted source you turn to for critical analysis and coverage of the events shaping our nation, and the world.

36 editors, reporters, publishers to face court over Pell ‘contempt’

Thirty-six journalists, editors and media organisations have been threatened with jail or fines over alleged contempt of court for their coverage of George Pell’s trial for child sex abuse, reports The Australian’s Tessa Akerman.

Radio host Ray Hadley, The Australian Financial Review editor-in-chief Michael Stutchbury, The Age editor Alex Lavelle, Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston and The Daily Telegraph editor Ben English are among those summonsed­ to appear before the Victorian Supreme Court next month for a directions hearing.

Pell’s trial for child sexual abuse at Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral and the guilty verdict were suppressed on the grounds it would prejudice a subsequent trial, which ultimately did not proceed.

The Supreme Court yesterday released the summons, which lists 36 respondents including Nationwide News Pty Ltd, which publishes The Australian, Fairfax Media, Mamamia, Macquarie Media and Nine Entertainment.

The Australian is not a party to the proceedings.

[Read the original]

Guns, mansions, and immigration: One Nation behind the scenes

One Nation Queensland leader Steve Dickson has been caught on tape describing some immigrants as “really dangerous’’ and lamenting that “we are importing all these Muslims into Australia”, reports ABC’s Josh Bavas.

The comments were made during a trip to Washington DC where Dickson and Pauline Hanson’s chief of staff, James Ashby, solicited for foreign donations to soften Australia’s gun laws.

Attending a Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation dinner, Dickson was recorded as saying of immigrants to Australia: “They’re just breaking into people’s homes with baseball bats and killing people.”

In one of the recordings aired by the broadcaster, the Queensland party leader boasts to an Al Jazeera mole about how easy he found it to change laws during his time in state parliament.

The 90-minute documentary centres on One Nation’s efforts to solicit political donations from the National Rifle Association (NRA) in the United States.

The documentary also shows Dickson at a gun lobby fundraiser in Washington discussing Muslim immigration.

The first part of the Al Jazeera investigation was screened on ABC last night and the second will be screened on Thursday on ABC TV or see the full documentary on iview.

[Read the original]


Michaels Gudinski and Chugg reunite to compete with Live Nation

After two decades apart, the two biggest names in Australian concert­ promotion are rejoining forces, with the two Michaels – Gudinski and Chugg – positioning themselves in opposition to American entertainment juggernaut Live Nation, reports The Australian’s Andrew McMillen.

“It’s really about us as independents setting up artillery to keep Live Nation honest, and to make sure there’s always an alternative,” Gudinski said yesterday. “It’s not about the money, it’s about the strength and the opportunity.”

Under a joint venture agreement, Frontier Touring and Chugg Entertainment will become co-promoters on all Chugg Entertainment tours from April.

According to Billboard magazine, Frontier grossed $344 million last year from 2,768,259 tickets across 440 shows, including tours by Paul McCartney and Foo Fighters. Its run of stadium concerts by Ed Sheeran sold more than a million tickets.

From December 2017 to November last year, Chugg Entertainment grossed $67m from 505,468 tickets across 267 shows, according to Billboard, including tours by Bob Dylan and Robbie Williams. Its upcoming run of shows by Elton John, co-promoted with AEG Entertainment, has sold more than 460,000 tickets to date.

Chugg Entertainment managing director Susan Heymann (pictured with the promoters) will stay in that role under the joint venture, while Frontier has also bought a 25% stake in CMC Rocks Qld, a country music event.

[Read the original]

Nazeem Hussain organises Stand Up For Christchurch comedy gig

In the wake of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, Australia’s biggest stars in comedy are coming together to perform Stand Up For Christchurch, a massive benefit show to support the victims and families affected. All proceeds from the shows will be donated to the The Christchurch Foundation’s, Our People, Our City fund.

A stellar line-up of comedians are donating their time on Saturday April 13 at 4.30pm at Melbourne Town Hall, including Arj Barker, Urzila Carlson, Joel Creasey, Frida Deguise, Dave Hughes, Nazeem Hussain, Jimeoin, Tommy Little, Luke McGregor, Matt Okine, Celia Pacquola, Cal Wilson and Steph Tisdell and more.

Stand Up For Christchurch will be MC’d by organiser Nazeem Hussain, who said: “This line up came together miraculously quick. Comedians normally take 48 hours to respond to anything. They all texted back within 2 minutes! There’s clearly so much love to give from the comedy community.”

Roger Field, chief executive officer, Live Nation Australasia: “We’re honoured to be given the opportunity to support Nazeem in producing this very important show, alongside The Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Naz is an inspirational talent who has been able to engage the community to unite for a very special show in support of Christchurch.”

Hannah Gadsby to use phone pouches to stop people filming her shows

Hannah Gadsby is not one to shy away from challenging her audience’s beliefs, and now the comedian will also be challenging their phone use. Gadsby is one of a growing number of performers to turn to a new technology which provides a simple solution – locking the phones away, reports ABC’s Matthew Smith and Daniel Keane.

“I have autism and the use of phones during a show is a very distressing distraction for me when I’m performing,” Gadsby recently tweeted, before the launch of her new show Douglas.

However, the phones themselves are not confiscated.

Instead, they are set on silent or aeroplane mode and then secured in pouches which are electronically locked before the shows begin.

The technology has been pioneered by US company Yondr and is also proving popular with musicians.

Guns ’N’ Roses has also adopted it at gigs, as well as Alicia Keys – who helped bring it to prominence in 2016.

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Wil Anderson settles into life on Triple M Melbourne’s Hot Breakfast

Broadcaster and comedian Wil Anderson says it has taken 12 months to feel comfortable alongside Eddie McGuire and Luke Darcy on their Triple M radio show, reports News Corp’s Nui Te Koha.

“I imagine it’s like being a sports person,” Anderson told the Herald Sun.

“It takes you a year to settle in and figure out how everyone plays, what their individual quirks are, and when they’re at their best. I reckon it takes a year to feel out the strengths and weaknesses.”

Anderson joined the Hot Breakfast show last year after Mick Molloy moved to a national drive show with Jane Kennedy.

Has Anderson, a former Triple J breakfast show host, changed his approach as a broadcaster on Triple M?

He replied: “Yeah, I’ve had to dumb it down for Darce.”

Wil-Informed, Anderson’s new show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, plays at the Comedy Theatre from tomorrow to April 21.

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